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 (krēk, krĭk)
1. A small stream, often a shallow or intermittent tributary to a river. Also called regionally branch, brook1, kill2, run.
2. A channel or stream running through a salt marsh: tidal creeks teeming with shore wildlife.
3. Chiefly British A small inlet in a shoreline, extending farther inland than a cove.
up the creek (without a paddle) Informal
In a difficult, unfortunate, or inextricable position.

[Middle English creke, probably from Old Norse kriki, bend.]


n. pl. Creek or Creeks
a. A member of a Native American people formerly inhabiting eastern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and northwest Florida and now located in central Oklahoma and southern Alabama. The Creek were removed to Indian Territory in the 1830s.
b. The Muskogean language of the Creek.
a. A Native American confederacy made up of the Creek and various smaller southeast tribes.
b. A member of this confederacy. In all senses also called Muskogee1.

[From the picturesque creeks near which they lived.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
There seemed to be nothing to see; no fences, no creeks or trees, no hills or fields.
For a part of the distance between Auburn and Newcastle the road-- first on one side of a creek and then on the other--occupies the whole bottom of the ravine, being partly cut out of the steep hillside, and partly built up with bowlders removed from the creek- bed by the miners.
That spring, Jesse had bought part of a long strip of black swamp land that lay in the valley of Wine Creek. He got the land at a low price but had spent a large sum of money to improve it.
They have reached the Owl Creek bridge, put it in order and built a stockade on the north bank.
From this point it described a long curve, descending towards Bitter Creek Valley, to rise again to the dividing ridge of the waters between the Atlantic and the Pacific.
To the south of where the road between Leesville and Hardy, in the State of Missouri, crosses the east fork of May Creek stands an abandoned house.
If the wind doesn't fail us, we'll make the creek before the tide gets too low, sleep at San Rafael, and arrive in Oakland to-morrow by midday."
After a little, my way was stopped by a creek or inlet of the sea, which seemed to run pretty deep into the land; and as I had no means to get across, I must needs change my direction to go about the end of it.
The sand flew up in a blinding storm, the whole of the creek was suddenly a raging torrent.
The miners were in from Moseyed Creek and the other diggings to the west, the summer washing had been good, and the men's pouches were heavy with dust and nuggets.
The packers had wanted a bridge at Ashland Avenue, but they had not been able to get it till they had seen Scully; and it was the same with "Bubbly Creek," which the city had threatened to make the packers cover over, till Scully had come to their aid.
They's a sharp slope through the redwoods to the creek. Come on, I'll show you."